A sad, almost dry Yosemite Falls and mosquitoes in January

A sad, almost dry Yosemite Falls today. (Photo by Beth Pratt)Yosemite Falls on January 27, 2012 (photo by Beth Pratt)Yosemite Falls on February 16, 2010 (Photo by Beth Pratt)Yosemite Falls, January 25, 2007 (photo by Beth Pratt)December 29, 2005 (Photo by Beth Pratt)

To paraphrase a line from one of my favorite shows, winter is never coming. Even I am getting nervous, and I usually celebrate a short winter not being particularly fond of the season. And I earned the right to living in the land of California sunshine, having grown up in New England and surviving through three of Yellowstone's sub zero endless winters.

But this is a bit extreme. We have wildfires burning in Southern California and the Sierra Nevada. The deer in my yard are starving. Some of my native plants have died. My house lacks any form of heating except for a woodstove, and I have lit only few fires this winter. I went for a walk yesterday along the Merced River and thought about taking a dip. Is this really January? 

Being attacked by mosquitoes today at the base of Yosemite Falls, however, ranked as the most stark reminder of the severity of the drough. As I stood gazing at the sad, almost dry Yosemite Falls, a swarm of mosquitoes surrounded me. At first, I was utterly disoriented. "It can't be mosquitoes because it's January, wait no, these are mosquitoes biting me." Investment tip: put your money in bug repellent as we're going to need it year round here. 

Mosquitoes in January in the Sierra Nevada? WTF? (Photo by Beth Pratt)